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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

Dream Big at the Wynn Las Vegas


By: Daniel L. Moses

The Wynn Las VegasWhat is that you dream about?  I dream a lot about food.  I also dream about sports, and, when I'm ready to make one of my weekend trips to Las Vegas, I dream about a dream.  Specifically, the dazzling show known as Le Reve at the Wynn Las VegasLe Reve, which is French for The Dream, is a magical production based around water.  Combining music, acrobatics, and dancing, Le Reve is one of the most incredible performances currently offered on the Vegas Strip.

Yet for you and yours, VIP tickets to Le Reve can be had for a lark.  Just use promotion code VIP PACK and you'll be paying less for oh-so-much-more.  The VIP indulgence package offers all visitors champagne bottle service, chocolate-covered strawberries, plush seating and behind-the-scenes video monitors.  Not bad if you feel like being blown away by such an incredible production.

In between shows, you might even find time to enjoy Wynn Las Vegas' incredible restaurants, shopping, spa, pools, on-site golf course, and oh yeah, one of the world's largest casinos.  I like to dress in a tux and play baccarat.  And a piece of advice, friends, always bet on the player.  Happy gaming and remember to dream big!


Steve Wynn Decorates His Macau Casino Resort with $12.8 Million Chinese Vases


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wynn MacauIn 2006 Las Vegas was eclipsed by Macau as the gaming capital of the world. Not far from Hong Kong, the former Portuguese colony of Macau attracts millions of visitors from mainland China keen to wager their bets at legal casinos. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that gambling revenue in Macau just hit an all-time record high- at $3 billion in the month of May. Little wonder then that casino mogul Steve Wynn has been investing heavily in his resorts there. (Wynn Macau looks hauntingly similar to its Vegas predecessor.) The latest? Wynn shelled out $12.8 million at a London auction recently for a set of four 18th-century Chinese porcelain vases that will adorn his new Cotai Resort Hotel, scheduled to open in 2015 in Macau. Bloomberg has the skinny on the vases:

The 4-foot (1.2 meter) vases, painted with Buddhist and Taoist emblems and embellished with 19th-century gilded metal mounts, were the most expensive of 50 lots at Christie’s International’s “Exceptional’’ sale in the U.K. capital. Sold by a private collector, the Jiaqing period (1796-1821) vases had formerly been in the collection of the Scottish aristocrats, the Dukes of Buccleuch, and had been estimated at 600,000 pounds to 1 million pounds.


Destination Deauville: Where to Stay in Normandy's Chic Seaside Town


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal Barriere, Deauville, FranceJust two hours by train outside of Paris, Deauville is a sublime seaside destination. Since its creation as a resort in the 19th century, Deauville has lured the chic and the fashionable for weekend jaunts on the beach boardwalk. After all, this is the spot where Coco Chanel first opened a boutique in 1913, and fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent used to come to unwind. (Deauville hits the spotlight each September for the annual American Film Festival, and was the recent host of the G8 Summit, when the world's leaders gathered in Normandy for a few days of meetings in May.) For a town of just 4,000 year-round inhabitants, there's not much Deauville doesn't offer. Horse races at the Hippodrome, gambling at the casino, sun-bathing on the beach, shopping the cornucopia of couture boutiques, sailing the high seas, relaxing at the thalassotherapy spas, and teeing off on the scenic golf courses...

*The* place to stay in town is the Royal Barrière, home to Deauville's only Michelin-starred resto. Smack dab on the seafront, the five-star hotel is a favorite of Hollywood stars and Parisian society. (The walls are lined with autographed photos of A-listers.) Sister hotel, the Normandy Barrière, a masterpiece of Tudor architecture, is another splendid option. Indeed, the Lucien Barrière Hotels Group has been a central part of the Deauville scene since the early 20th century, and is a frequent sponsor of cinema, music and equestrian events.


4 Nights for the Price of 3 at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Cosmopolitan Las VegasOne of the most researched tourist destinations on the planet? Vegas, baby, Vegas. If a summer trip to Sin City is in the cards, consider a stay at the sexy, new Cosmopolitan Las Vegas- currently promoting a special offer where you get a night on the house. (The 4th night free offer is subject to availability, and the discount is applied as 25% off each night of stay.) Lounge in the Pool District, hit up some dynamite restaurant options (like Jaleo and China Poblano, both by Chef José Andrés), dance until dawn at Marquee Nightclub, then detox away your hangover at the Sahra Spa & Hammam. Talk about fun in the sun.


Ellen Degeneres Crashes a Bachelorette Party at The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Palazzo Las VegasNeed a good laugh? Check this out. Ellen Degeneres rolled into Vegas where she crashed a bachelorette party (well, it should be plural "parties" since there were four bachelorettes involved). The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas welcomed "The Ellen Degeneres Show" to celebrate their new alliance with the InterContinental Hotels Group. These AAA Five Diamond resorts are the first-ever InterContinental Alliance Resorts, and guests can now earn (or burn) IHG’s Priority Club points while staying in luxury on The Strip. To see DeGeneres as "Celebrity Concierge" at The Venetian and The Palazzo-- treating the four lucky bachelorettes to VIP drinks and dancing (and a whole lotta merrymaking)-- check out the video.

Pictured: The Palazzo Las Vegas in all its glory.


A Deal in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay (Plus Tickets to The Lion King!)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandalay Bay, Las VegasTwo nights at Mandalay Bay plus tix to the "Lion King" for just $222? Say no more. We're booking flights stat. The savvy sleuths at The Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deals blog have uncovered a fabulous deal that celebrates the Disney show's second anniversary. This package includes two nights accommodation plus two tickets to the show at the Mandalay Bay Theater, available until June 30. While you're in town, be sure to frolic in the hotel's wave pool, lay out on the sandy beach, or take your chances inside the air-conditioned beachside casino.


From $151: Resort Credits in Puerto Rico at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad San Juan Condado PlazaSunshine, here we come. Give yourself a spring cleaning with a trip to the beach. Just a hop from the East Coast, Puerto Rico's got enough sand and sea to soften even the hardest of hearts. (Any lingering winter blues will dissolve with the first fruity rum drink and salsa dance.) Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza is making a spring break trip easy on the wallet with a special offer that translates to 20% off your stay. In addition, you can get up to $100 in resort credit,* a 50% discount on Children's tours, and a $25 casino match bet coupon. Priced from $151 per night; minimum two-night stay required. With three pools, a casino, vibrant nightlife, and dazzling sunsets at the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza... what are you waiting for?


ArtScience Museum Debuts at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Marina Bay SandsIt's little wonder that Singapore's Marina Bay Sands was one of the most buzzed about hotel openings of 2010. A sky-high infinity pool, restaurants by celebrity chef Guy Savoy, a plant-filled SkyPark set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform... What more could you ask for? Well, "Asia's ultimate resort experience" has just upped the ante with yet another exciting amenity: the ArtScience Museum, recently opened in a fanfare celebration. Here's how Malaysia Asia describes the lotus-inspired museum:

Designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, it has been called “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore” by Mr. Sheldon Adelson, the visionary chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp. The curved roof of the museum harvests rainwater, sending it to a reflecting pool. There are a total of 21 gallery spaces that will embrace achievements in both art and science in a total of 4,800 square meters of space here. Traveling exhibitions will change every three to six months.

Book the "Museum Premiere Package" to mark the opening of the ArtScience Museum and spend the night in luxury while delighting in the cultural experience that's the talk of the town. Book by March 10 and enjoy rates from $339++ (per night for select weekdays) or S$359++ (per night for select weekends) and receive 2 adult tickets to the ArtScience Museum. Available for select dates through April 2011.


The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas: “More Style-Driven” than Most Sin City Resorts


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Cosmopolitan Las VegasThere's been a lot of talk about the newest (and trendiest) destination resort to open in Las Vegas: The Cosmopolitan. And not just because of its star-studded grand opening and New Year's Eve party with Jay-Z and Coldplay. This trendy new hotel boasts wow-worthy facilities that make it a "confident competitor" in Sin City's luxury resort market. A recent article in The Los Angeles Times calls out the "2,995 upscale guest rooms, 13 restaurants, gargantuan meeting rooms, three groovy pools, a light-filled casino and oodles of geek-worthy tech toys into two 50-story towers that teeter on just 8.7 acres." This hot spot is "more style-driven than most Vegas resorts," says the LA Times, "aimed at young, tech-savvy couples." Imagine: relaxing in your Japanese soaking tub while gazing out on the city's bright lights and all the action on The Strip. Other stand-out features? The smartly-designed Sahra Spa & Hammam, the Boulevard Pool with its open-air stage (talk about a summertime destination!), and Marquee Nightclub. Here's the skinny about The Cosmopolitan's guest room decor:

The guest rooms were decorated by David Rockwell, veteran designer of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and several W hotels. His palette of navy, ivory and other cool neutrals ensures that the rooms are a calm counterpoint to the cacophony of the lobby, which is defined by video monitors built into tall columns. Though arriving guests are surrounded by the lobby's high-tech touches, the clerks add humanity by stepping out from behind their oversized check-in desks.


Quiet Luxury on the Las Vegas Strip at the Trump International


By: Daniel L. Moses

The Trump Las VegasThe best part about the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas is that there isn’t a casino downstairs. Eschewing Vegas tradition, the gold-mirrored windows of the Trump Tower opts to let their guests gamble elsewhere, and instead of focusing on which new slot machine to install, they created a haven of luxury.

 

When I stayed there last year, I still gambled (and plenty), but I did so at any of the nearby resorts that had bustling, smoke-filled casinos. When I returned to the Trump, I found something that is so often missing from Las Vegas strip hotels: peace and quiet. In fact, time after time, I’d exhaust myself elsewhere just to be refreshed at the Trump International. The stunning spa, decadent pool, or my well-appointed suite became a home away from home rather than just a place that was ushering me back downstairs to spend a few extra bucks.

 

Las Vegas will always have its mega-hotel and casino complexes, and I will always seek them out on my thrice annual pilgrimage to Sin City. But nowadays, I enjoy the peaceful luxury of the Trump International Hotel and Tower to sleep off those slot-induced hangovers.